Polio is one of the most dangerous diseases in the world. It can cripple the body of any person, but can it cripple dreams too? For Ramanjaneyulu Boya, the answer is no. Despite suffering from polio, Ramanjaneyulu plays for the Indian para badminton team and has represented India in the para world championships on two occasions.
Right now, he is preparing for the Asian Games selection trials which will be taking place in July. Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh got in touch with him and here is how the conversation went:
When did you start playing badminton?
I started playing in 2008.
Who encouraged you to play badminton?
My friend Janapa Reddy Satyam encouraged me to play badminton. He is a coach in Gopichand Badminton Academy.
Was sports always an integral part of your life? Before badminton, what was your experience in sports?
I started javelin throwing in 2005. I continued till 2008.
Any person/persons who were key to your development or growth in badminton?
I don’t have a permanent coach but Mohammed Arif Sir helps me a lot. I practice at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad. I take advice from Arif Sir and he helps me a lot with techniques and strategies.
When did you start competing in badminton?
I played my first nationals in 2009 and won bronze in doubles. In 2010, I played my first international tournament in Israel and after that I played my first world championships in Germany in 2013. I won a silver medal in Uganda and last month I won a bronze medal in Dubai in doubles.
What has been your most memorable memory so far?
My first world championship in Germany has been my most memorable experience.
How would you describe the overall influence of badminton in your life? For example, how has it affected your own well being and confidence?
I am a disabled person and polio has given me a lot of problems in my life. But on the other hand, badminton has given me a goal in my life. I want to bring more medals for India and make my entire nation proud.
Who is your favourite badminton player?
Pullela Gopichand is my favourite player
No one from the present batch: Saina, Sindhu or Srikanth?
(Laughs) They are amazing players but Gopichand will always be my favourite.
What are your future aspirations?
I have only one aspiration i.e winning gold at the 2020 Paralympic Games.